Draft Day

I’ve been a huge Kevin Costner fan for years ~ going back to the time that he played the corpse in The Big Chill (a bit of trivia of movie trivia).  Most recently in the Amazon Prime series, Yellowstone, in which he plays the patriarch of the Dutton family, I have enjoyed his horse-riding, foul-mouthed no-nonsense approach to protecting the Montana ranch that has been in his family for generations.  But it is his portrayal of Sonny Weaver Jr. in the movie Draft Day that comes to mind this morning as I prepare for an evening of interviewing candidates for open positions at our school.   For those of you who have yet to enjoy this movie, the premise is simple and yet so creatively depicted. Without giving away too much of the plot, the movie takes the viewer through one single day in the life of the general manager of the Cleveland Browns ~ the most important day ~ draft day.   Through split screens and several transitions from frame to frame the story focuses not only on Weaver, but on the lives of everyone who is about to impacted by the decisions.   We see into the lives of the potential new Cleveland Brown players and into the lives of the current team members.   Although spring staffing in a school board does not garner the same amount of hype as the NFL Draft day ~ it is an actual televised process, with lights and bells and whistles ~ there are a number of similarities.

Over the next few nights, we will interview 30 candidates, who have all had to narrow their selection of interviews to only three, for five open positions here at Sir Arthur Currie.   I continue to be humbled and excited when candidates select Sir Arthur Currie as one of their three choices. It is incumbent upon us as an interview team to do our best to shine a bright light on our school and what it has to offer.  Unlike the NHL draft, we can not offer more in salary, but we can offer a strong sense of school community, a collaborative and fun-loving team, and a school environment where new team members will undoubtedly be immersed in authentic learning for not only their students but for themselves as educators.

We also know that potential candidates have so much to think about when selecting to interview for a new position.  How will a new school impact their family lives (more driving, less driving)?  Are they looking for a new challenge?  Are they leaving a school community where they have already built strong ties?  Are they looking for a fresh start?

Similarly, to many scenes in the movie, where we see Sonny connecting with the General Managers of the other football teams, I’ve appreciated phone calls from colleagues sharing how fortunate we are that candidates are considering us.  They have been supportive of an educator’s decision to try something new, and they have been singing their praises.   That information is golden when we are looking at making very challenging decisions to select only 1 candidate per assignment.

And just like in the movie, when we consider our decisions, we are looking for candidates who are not just exceptional educators, but who have what it takes to be a good team player for our SAC Crew. No one wants an outstanding quarterback, who doesn’t know how to communicate to the running back to the receivers.

And finally, just like Costner’s character, who is navigating news of impending fatherhood, our lives as an interview team continue to change and evolve. As a school, we find ourselves with another positive case of COVID. With the Ministry’s message about delaying the timelines for families to declare their preference for their child’s learning model until June, we find ourselves wondering about the repercussions of what those delays will mean for class placement meetings, timetabling, staffing and in our case portables, movement of educators, purchasing of furniture and equipment for our additional classes, etc.  Yet, tonight at 4:00 pm as we dive into our first interview, all of that is pushed out of our minds as we focus on the candidates and ensuring that we create an experience that allows them to shine.

Are you currently “playing” in the interview rounds, as a candidate or on an interview team?

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